US put-off for return of Achaemenid tablets to Iran

US put-off for return of Achaemenid tablets to Iran
ID : N-3090 Date : 2018/10/08 - 12:30

(Persia Digest) – Following the return of the Achaemenid soldier bust rock relief to Iran, this country is trying to take back its other tablets and artefacts which have been kept on loan by archaeologists at the University of Chicago for 80 years.

Deputy Minister of Iran’s Cultural Heritage Organization, Mohammad-Hassan Talebi, said about the return date of the artefacts to Iran: “Although the initial paperwork has been completed, we are still waiting for the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to issue the required permits for the release of the artefacts.”


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He continued: “The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago has also mentioned problems about packing the artefacts.”

Talebian stated that 12 thousand intact artefacts and large numbers of broken ones must be returned to Iran in one consignment, adding: “All the items are numbered and awaiting OFAC permission. We are happy to send a number of experts from Iran to the US to help them pack and deliver the artefacts.”

Talebian reiterated: “The packing and delivery of artefacts to the National Museum of Iran is the responsibility of the Oriental Institute. But, considering the present circumstances and insurance problems, we prefer to bring the items home as soon as we have the permit from the US customs office.”


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He added: “American insurers refuse us their services for the return of the artefacts to Iran. But we will find a way for this as soon as possible in the same way we found a way for the return of the soldier’s rock relief.”

Persia Digest (PD) reports that the US Supreme Court voted on 21 February at the appeals court in the Achaemenid casefile eight to one in favor of Iran to cancel the order to confiscate and sell the Achaemenid tablets. Subsequent to the vote, steps were taken for their return to Iran. But, with the US withdrawal from the JCPOA accord and reimposition of sanctions against Iran, this has met with difficulties.

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